The largest confectioner in the US, Hershey Foods Corp, yesterday [Thursday] reported a 10.3% increase in earnings to US$87m, or 63 cents a share, during its January-March Q1 period. The company revealed that the earnings increase was due to a slight increase in sales, up to US$988.5m from US$988m a year ago, reflecting the acquisition of a Brazilian chocolate company and improved sales of core brands such as Hershey's Kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups.